It wasn’t until a staff member casually mentioned her 50th National League Match that Cara Koenen even realised the milestone was looming.
The ever-modest Sunshine Coast Lightning shooter is however grateful to have reached such a career highlight, as she prepares to take on West Coast Fever in Perth on Saturday.
“I didn’t even know it was coming up until someone mentioned it at the hotel the other day,” Koenen said.
“Obviously it is pretty cool to have made it to 50 games.
“A lot of people don’t make it this far, so I feel very lucky and very blessed to have done it with one Club.”
Koenen made her Lightning debut in the team’s inaugural season in 2017.
When Koenen runs out on Saturday against West Coast Fever, she will also be sharing the milestone will teammate Mahalia Cassidy, who is also poised to player her 50th match.
The shared milestone has even more meaning given the 2 players were reunited at Lightning this year after playing underage and representative netball together growing up.
“It’s cool to be sharing it with Harls – we played a lot of our underage together as well,” she said.
“I am excited for the game and just looking forward to building on what I’ve been able to put out personally and working on those connections depending on what position [Coach Kylee Byrne] throws me into on the weekend.”
The past 12 months has been filled with career highlights for Koenen after building on a breakout season last year.
The Queensland local was named Suncorp Super Netball reserve shooter in the 2020 SSN Team of The Year, before making her Origin Diamonds debut earlier this year – named Most Valuable Player in her second game in the green and gold.
As for this weekend, it will be business as normal – or as close to that as possible given the team’s initial preparations beginning in Melbourne before making the trip to Perth.
“I’ll try to keep my prep consistent as possible – I don’t think there will be any extra pressure, I like to keep my expectations the same,” she said.
“But I am looking forward to getting out on court and sharing the moment with Mahalia.”
Lightning are set to travel to Perth to take on West Coast Fever in Round 10, on Saturday 10 July at 8pm AWST.
The match can be watched via the Netball Live Mobile App or Telstra TV.